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Network-Centric Thinking: The Internet's Challenge to Ego-Centric Institutions (01 Jul 2004)
Like the dot-com boom that pre-figured it, the Howard Dean craze made exaggerated claims that were undeliverable. This movement, fueled by unsupervised local initiatives and virally-activated small donors, could not reach far enough beyond its loyal, wired base. Politics as we know it did not change overnight, as John Kerry's presidential campaign proved in Iowa, and as the Republican spin machine and the complicit media proved again in the subsequent demolition of the Dean candidacy.

The Dean campaign's most-repeated claim, however, was its truest. "You did it!" Dean said as he mounted the stage in Manhattan's Bryant Park, clutching the red bat his blog-constituency had decided he should bring with him. The Dean phenomenon emblematized, and in critical ways confirmed, a new model for political power, a model that makes second-person pronouns as important as the first person.
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